Measuring Financial Success

July 22, 2011

When I was in high school I used to think that I was financially successful if I was able to pay my very few bills (gas and car insurance) and then have money left over to shop.  The percentage of expendable income I had in high school was insanely high.  I wish I had the calculation, but I worked sometimes 5 nights a week and only maybe $75 a month was spoken for.  I went shopping rather frequently and enjoyed buying whatever I wanted.  Fast forward to 5 or 6 years later.  Marriage…it’s not super cheap.  You suddenly have to pay for your living expenses as one family unit.  No more $200-$400 a month rent because you are splitting your payments between 2 to 12 people ( yes I lived with 12 people).  Then you buy a house, oh boy, if there is one thing that sucks your money (besides children) it’s home ownership.  I am SO thankful for our house and I know it’s a wise investment, but my word those things are expensive!  I’ve realized my financial success measuring stick has changed considerably in the last few years.  Now I measure success as living below your means and being able to pay your bills and sticking to a budget.  I would MUCH rather have no debt than stuff!  I understand some debt isn’t avoidable and I’d be lying if I said we didn’t have debt.  However, we are on a rather fast track to paying it off in the next couple years and that feels so good.  Maybe someday we’ll have the vacation house, boat, nice cars, etc., etc., but for now I’m just happy when there is money in the bank when the month is over!  That’s financial success at this stage in our life!  How about you, what does your measuring stick look like?

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